Soham woman injured in taxi smash urges people to use a good solicitor
PUBLISHED: 11:59 11 November 2014 | UPDATED: 11:59 11 November 2014
A Soham woman is backing a national campaign urging people to use a solicitor after she was knocked down outside Cambridge train station leaving her needing a hip replacement.
Keen walker Rita Keep was returning home when a careless taxi passenger opened her door before the taxi had stopped outside the train station which smashed the 70-year-old into a steel advertising hoarding, before running off.
Now, after getting her life back on track, retired medical secretary Mrs Keep, from Soham, is backing a Law Society campaign to raise the profile of the work solicitors do to help people like her.
She said: “I was angry. The person who had done this to me had got off scot-free. I was at a time in my life where I was thinking about retirement, and looking forward to lots of walking holidays, but because of this careless and avoidable accident everything was on hold.
“I contacted JMW Solicitors, and they were brilliant. They took control of the situation. I put myself in their hands, and I’m so glad I did. Without them I would be sitting at home today thinking why me?
“My advice to anyone in a similar position is don’t be afraid to contact a solicitor. It was the best decision I’ve ever made, and means I am now able to enjoy my retirement.”
The impact of the door knocked Rita to the floor and broke the top of her left leg, close to where the femur joins the hip. The apologetic taxi driver transported her to Addenbrookes Hospital - where Rita worked - and she had surgery that inserted steel pins into the broken bone.
Following the surgery her leg initially recovered, but it soon worsened leaving her left leg an inch shorter and meaning she had to use a crutch to get around.
Rita’s leg then deteriorated so badly that six months after returning to work she was in agony, and had to undergo a full hip replacement.
Frustrated she had been injured through no fault of her own she decided to contact a solicitor to see if she was entitled to any compensation to help her get her life back on track.
Rita was awarded a five figure sum in an out of court settlement from the taxi firm’s insurers after they proved the private taxi company was at fault because they allowed their driver’s passenger to open the door when it was unsafe to do so and failed to acknowledge the area around the train station was a safe place to drop off passengers.
Her solicitor Deborah Parkinson, senior associate at JMW, said: “Quite early on in the case we were able to secure an admission of liability. Once we had that it was a matter of determining the extent of Rita’s injuries.
“Despite being seriously injured she was determined to get on with her life, but was frustrated by how the accident had slowed her down.”